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What is a false witness?

Proverbs 14:5


  “A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness will utter lies."


    I have long thought of myself as an extremely honest person. A person who walks in integrity…. and for the most part that is true. I have even gone so far as to employ the verses Psalm 15:2-5


    “He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart; he does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take up a reproach against his friend. In whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honors those who fear the Lord  he swears to his own hurt and does not change. He does not put out his money in usury {interest} nor does he take a bribe against the innocent."


I sometimes have been known to tell on myself for wrongs committed, or have held myself accountable for poor judgement or behavior even though no-one else knew of it. I still, however found myself lying in certain situations. I could go through all the various scenarios that seem to produce more lies than others in my life. Or I could examine my emotional state when a lie is uttered but this seems like a waste of time. Not because it is not prudent to understand my way, but because it is. What I mean is that when I would lie, in general I would immediately admit it to God and repent and sometimes tell the person the truth. And every time this would happen, I would be confused as to how I still allow myself to engage in a work of the wicked one. It is crucial that I understand the root of that in order to gain freedom from it. Enter Proverbs 14:5. 

    Therein is, clear as day- the reason that I couldn’t seem to “kick” the lying habit is because I would still engage as a false witness. A false witness is generally not spoken of or taught on because most people use the term false witness and liar interchangeably. They are not synonymous in definition yet they are similar. A liar is one who tells a lie- with their mouth. They openly state something that is not true. It is simple. A false witness is more passive. A false witness will present data with the intent of leading someone else to an incorrect conclusion yet they do not overtly lie about the situation. 

    For example, let us take false fingernails. There was a time when more women had naturally long, healthy, beautiful fingernails than had false ones {Now it’s opposite}. Let’s say there was a man who had been used to seeing women with long, beautiful fingernails and found them attractive. Now let’s say that man met a woman and fell in love with her and married her and this woman happened to have false fingernails yet she never told her now husband that they were not her own.  Then on the day after their wedding, he finds the nails in the bathroom and not on his wife’s hands. This woman is a false witness. She could have told him they were not her nails but by omitting that, she led him to believe something that was not true. This is one example. Another would be changing the time the clocks in your home or car without telling your spouse- that is being a false witness. One of my personal favorites is having someone in your house with a drinking problem and replacing their liquor with water unbeknownst to them. These are all examples of being a false witness and when this is engaged, it is a very short transition from there to lying!! When you allow yourself to remain a false witness, you will lie- no matter how desperately you try not to lie!




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